The ICBM basing question

Art Hobson, "The ICBM basing question," Science & Global Security, 2, no. 2-3, (1991): 153-180.
This paper compares and evaluates alternative mutual ICBM basing options for both the US and Soviet Union, assuming both START and finite-deterrence (2,000 warheads per side) force structures. While continued reliance on multiple-warhead silo-based missiles will make ICBMs even more unstable than they already are, stability could be quickly enhanced by replacing multiple warheads with single warheads in present silos. For the longer term: mobile basing is stable if deployed randomly over large land areas, but not if bunched at known garrisons. A 500-warhead rail- or land-garrison force would be vulnerable to short-warning attack by as few as one (for rail-MX and SS-25) to three (for garrison-Midgetman) ballistic-missile submarines. At least two other options are sufficiently promising to warrant full engineering evaluation: superhard silos and multiple silos. If technically feasible, they might be more stable than the mobile modes because, unlike mobile missiles, their survivability does not depend on whether attack warning information is received or acted upon.

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